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Article
Publication date: 31 January 2011

Robert C. Fink, William L. James and Kenneth J. Hatten

The purpose of this research is to understand what pricing, purchasing, product defect and late deliveries factors are associated with the decisions of small, medium and…

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3975

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to understand what pricing, purchasing, product defect and late deliveries factors are associated with the decisions of small, medium and large size customers to enter into closer customer‐supplier relationships with their suppliers.

Dessign/methodology/approach

The study involves a survey of 372 professionals in the paper industry to investigate the linkage between pricing, purchasing efficiencies and reductions in product defects and later deliveries and relational exchanges across customers of different sizes and resources.

Findings

The results indicate that the pricing, purchasing, product defect and late delivery factors associated with relational supply chain exchanges are different for small, medium and large size customers.

Research limitations/implications

Data were collected from individuals’ perspectives of the customer‐supplier relationships within customer organization only and involved the exchange of one type of product. Similar studies need to be conducted in other industries involving other types of product exchanges that capture both customer and supplier perspectives to verify these findings.

Practical implications

Supplier sales and marketing managers need to understand that different sized customers with different resources may have different performance objectives when entering into relational exchanges. These varying customer performance objectives should help supplier marketing managers to better segment their relational exchange customers and help them in assessing their ability to satisfy varying customer relational exchange performance goals.

Originality/value

While the linkage between closer customer‐supplier relationships and pricing, purchasing, product delivery has been studied in prior research, this is one of the first studies to show that different customer performance factors are associated with different sizes of customers and their relational exchanges. This paper also suggests that further research grounded on a resource‐based theory (RBT) of the firm would be valuable in better understanding the factors associated with different customers' relational exchanges.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 26 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2002

Aksel I. Rokkan and Sven A. Haugland

Argues that relational exchange is dependent upon both effectiveness and power considerations. The primary objective is to study the effect of power and effectiveness on…

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1968

Abstract

Argues that relational exchange is dependent upon both effectiveness and power considerations. The primary objective is to study the effect of power and effectiveness on the relational exchange process between voluntary retail chains and their vendors. In particular, proposes that relational exchange between the chain and the vendor is dependent on (1) the chain’s ability to obtain necessary coordination and limiting free‐riding within the chain system, as well as (2) creating a symmetrical dependence structure that fosters trust and long‐term commitment. The first issue is related to effectiveness, while the second issue concerns aspects of power. The hypotheses were tested on a sample of relations between voluntary retail chains and their suppliers in Norway. Results suggest that free‐riding within the chain, number of chain members and asymmetry of market position are negatively related to relational exchange.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 36 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Kent Eriksson and Cecilia Hermansson

Customer interactions with sellers change as social interactions in society change. The old dichotomy between transaction and relation exchange may no longer be valid as…

Abstract

Purpose

Customer interactions with sellers change as social interactions in society change. The old dichotomy between transaction and relation exchange may no longer be valid as customers form relationships with sellers in new ways. It is against this background that the authors study how customers’ subjective perception of relational exchange appears in objectively defined transactional and relational exchange forms. The authors study one bank’s customers, and, based on objective bank records, the authors identify segments that behave as transactional and relational customers. The authors also identify a group of customers who are in between transactional and relational, and the authors call these interimistic relational, since they interact repeatedly with the bank in a short period of time. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors study how subjective attributes of relational exchange differ in objectively defined transactional, interimistic, and relational customer groups. The authors use a large data set, consisting of a combination of survey and objective bank records for 90,528 bank customers.

Findings

Findings are that the old dichotomy between transaction and relation is no longer valid, since customers’ exchange behavior and perception of exchange do not match up when it comes to the transaction-relation dichotomy. The authors find empirical evidence for that the subjective relational attributes can be observed in objectively defined relational, interimistic, and transactional customer groups. Overall, subjective relational attributes are strongest in the objective relational group; they are weaker in the interimistic group. Relational attributes are weakest, but still present, in the transactional group.

Practical implications

The findings presented here suggest strong support for relationship marketing practice, since even customers who behave transactionally perceive that they have an element of relationship with the seller. The authors find that customers may behave in a relational, interimistic, and transactional way, but that they perceive themselves as more or less relational. The practical implication is that customer analysis should focus on exchange forms, and that it is essential to analyze how exchange changes, and how multiple exchange forms may be combined in customer behavior and perception.

Social implications

The social implications of this paper are that marketers should consider the exchange between customer and financial service supplier as more or less of a relationship, and more or less of a service. Financial service firm strategies and regulation of financial services should acknowledge that no financial service transaction is independent of the relationship between the financial service provider and the customer. It may seem so objectively, but subjectively, it is not.

Originality/value

The authors present a unique comparison of objective and subjective customer exchange. There are two contributions that come from this research. The first is that customers perceive themselves as partially relational, even though they behave transactionally. The other contribution is that the authors identified interimistic relational exchange (IRE) as an exchange form in between relational and transactional. IRE can potentially be very important for market research and practice, as it captures modern market behavior. In today’s world, consumers form their perceptions in a multitude of ways, and may therefore have relational attitudes and transactional behaviors. More research is needed into how consumer perceptions and behaviors relate to each other, and how it impacts consumer purchase of financial services.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Minna Jukka, Tatiana Andreeva, Kirsimarja Blomqvist and Kaisu Puumalainen

This study aims to examine relational norms in cross-cultural business settings. Cross-cultural business partners may differ in their normative orientations toward…

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1409

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine relational norms in cross-cultural business settings. Cross-cultural business partners may differ in their normative orientations toward relational exchange. Owing to the high extent of international trade, there is a need for developing a more nuanced understanding of cross-cultural relational exchange.

Design/methodology/approach

The repertory grid method was used to elicit the personal constructs characterizing the perceptions of business-to-business (B2B) relational exchange for 22 Russian and Finnish managers. These items were further categorized into categories of relational elements drawn from relational exchange literature using a content analysis. Then, the category means of scored importance and scored evaluations of domestic and foreign business partners were tested statistically.

Findings

Relational norms of flexibility, information exchange, long-term orientation, mutuality and solidarity were equally important to both Russian and Finnish managers. The importance of a business partner’s ability seems to be culturally dependent. Sharing the same cultural background might have an adverse effect when evaluating poorly functioning business relations.

Research limitations/implications

The validity of these findings is limited to this context and material. Future research should repeat cross-cultural comparisons of the relational norms with more data and other nationalities.

Practical implications

Firms should focus on long-term orientation and mutual targets to form well-functioning cross-cultural business relationships.

Originality/value

This study provides new knowledge into B2B marketing literature by revealing the role of relational norms, business partner’s ability and shared cultural background on functionality of cross-cultural business relations. It also demonstrates the use of the repertory grid method in studying perceptions of relational norms.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 10 January 2020

Abhishek Dwivedi, Morgan Miles, Eddie Oczkowski, Jay Weerawardena, Lester W. Johnson and Dean Wilkie

Relational engagement is offered as a framework to describe how buyers and sellers conduct exchange. Relational engagement is conceptualized as a higher-order construct…

Abstract

Purpose

Relational engagement is offered as a framework to describe how buyers and sellers conduct exchange. Relational engagement is conceptualized as a higher-order construct comprising three dimensions: legal bonds, knowledge exchange and co-production. This paper aims to examine the efficacy of the construct by testing its influence on buyer–perceived seller brand equity.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of 401 US-based industrial buyers was conducted. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

Empirical analysis supports the proposed conceptualization of relational engagement, as well as its influence on seller brand equity through influencing buyer-perceived relationship effectiveness.

Practical implications

Relational engagement offers a template to sellers for engaging organizational buyers. A relational engagement strategy has favorable implications for seller brand equity.

Originality/value

Relational engagement offers a comprehensive strategic perspective on inter-organizational exchange, moving beyond tactical approaches. The framework reflects the continuum of exchange, incorporating transactional-dominant and relationship-dominant forms of inter-organizational marketing practices.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Keith J. Blois and Bjoern S. Ivens

The paper sets out to examine the validity of Kaufmann and Stern's operationalisation of Macneil's norm theory which they used when creating a set of scales to evaluate…

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2318

Abstract

Purpose

The paper sets out to examine the validity of Kaufmann and Stern's operationalisation of Macneil's norm theory which they used when creating a set of scales to evaluate the degree of relationality in business‐to‐business (B2B) exchanges. The scales that Kaufmann and Stern developed to measure norms in B2B relationships have been used either directly or with limited adaptation in a large number of papers.

Design/methodology/approach

Macneil's work was evaluated and a new set of scales developed and an experiment was carried out to determine whether or not these scales discriminated between relational and discrete exchanges more effectively than Kaufmann and Stern's scales.

Findings

The experiment demonstrated that the new scales discriminated more effectively between relational and discrete exchanges than Kaufmann and Stern's scales.

Research limitations/implications

The experiment would ideally have been run using experienced managers rather than students as respondents. However, the advantage of using students was that it was possible to create two groups whose members had attended an identical course on B2B relationship marketing.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the importance, when conducting research that uses prior studies, of critically assessing prior theorising and research. The paper questions the validity of Kaufmann and Stern's scales. These scales have, since 1988, been the foundation of a substantial body of research into B2B relationships.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2007

Robert C. Fink, Linda F. Edelman and Kenneth J. Hatten

This study aims to test both customer and supplier performance benefits associated with closer relational exchanges in light of both resource and technological…

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2415

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to test both customer and supplier performance benefits associated with closer relational exchanges in light of both resource and technological environmental contingencies.

Design/methodology/approach

The research involved a survey of 1,170 managers in the pulp and paper industry to understand their relationship with their primary supplier of process control equipment (PCE). Each respondent was asked to provide their views on the closeness of their supplier relationship, the performance gains realized from their supplier relationships, and the linkage between their performance gains and improvements in supplier performance.

Findings

The results indicate that although customers may be achieving better performance through closer relationships, suppliers may not always be reaping reciprocal benefits. Specifically, improvements in customer purchasing performance did not result in improved supplier performance, but customer improvements in production performance resulted in supplier performance gains.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on the exchange of one product line, PCE, within one industry. Further research is necessary to investigate customer‐supplier relationships involving other products such as parts and material incorporated into the customer's end product and crossing multiple industries. In addition, further research is needed to develop and test other potential performance outcomes and environment contingencies.

Originality/value

Since mutual performance improvements may not always be achieved in relational exchanges, this study suggests some critical considerations for suppliers making decisions to pursue closer customer relationships. These important considerations include the competitive nature of the supplier's market, the customer's desired performance improvement, the customer's level of internal expertise or knowledge, and the supplier's ability to provide differentiated products, services and knowledge.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1997

Michèle Paulin, Jean Perrien and Ronald Ferguson

Bases the present study, on Macneil’s relational contract theory and illustrates the conceptual and managerial importance of relational norms in a business‐to‐business…

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2680

Abstract

Bases the present study, on Macneil’s relational contract theory and illustrates the conceptual and managerial importance of relational norms in a business‐to‐business service context. Demonstrates a clear link between the client’s perception of the strength of the bank‐client relationship, as measured by relational norms, and the client’s intention to continue to purchase financial services and to purchase new financial services, willingness to recommend both the account manager and the bank to business colleagues and, assessment of satisfaction and judgement of service quality. Finds significant differences between the assessment of the strength of the relationship by account managers and client‐company representatives; these differences would have important managerial implications in the context of commercial banking.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2009

Cristian Chelariu and Vinita Sangtani

This paper seeks to apply the relational exchange framework, updated by insights on interimistic relationships, to analyze governance implications for the three types of…

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1656

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to apply the relational exchange framework, updated by insights on interimistic relationships, to analyze governance implications for the three types of e‐marketplaces currently in operation: independent exchanges, consortia, and private exchanges. These three archetypes are analyzed from a functional perspective and, more importantly, from a relationship governance perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is conceptual in approach.

Findings

The three e‐marketplace archetypes currently in existence correspond to different levels of operational integration and, in turn, to three different types of inter‐firm relationships. Moreover, the three types of relational structures proposed offer different solutions for governance processes such as partner qualification, monitoring, and enforcement.

Research limitations/implications

The network of relationships between firms is changing all the time as a result of dynamic industry conditions. The relational continuum proposed can explain the focal firm's shifting reliance on one or another of the e‐marketplace types as a result of industry volatility.

Practical implications

The analysis advocates a portfolio approach to e‐marketplace adoption, based on the varying strengths of their connections with different industry partners. This approach also implies a new type of segmentation, based on the place that the trading partner occupies on the relational continuum.

Originality/value

When analyzing e‐marketplaces, a focus on technology and functional parameters alone misses an essential aspect: when choosing among various e‐marketplace formats currently in operation, firms cannot overlook the inter‐firm relationships that characterize these marketplaces and give them their identity.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Peter Smith Ring and Andrew H. Van de Ven

This chapter examines three kinds of relational bonds (trust-based commitments, forbearance-based commitments, and apprehension-based commitments) on which parties rely in…

Abstract

This chapter examines three kinds of relational bonds (trust-based commitments, forbearance-based commitments, and apprehension-based commitments) on which parties rely in the processes employed in negotiating, committing, and executing their cooperative inter-organizational relationships (CIORs). It also considers three different societal contexts with strong, moderately strong, and weak exogenous governance safeguards in which these relational bonds are employed. The authors propose a process theory of relational bonds that fit different contexts. Specifically, our central proposition is that parties to CIORs are more likely to achieve their goals when they rely on relational bonds that fit their societal contexts in which they engage in economic exchanges.

Details

Managing Inter-organizational Collaborations: Process Views
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-592-0

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